Analysis Of Lucille Clifton 's ' The Gift ' Essay

758 Words Sep 29th, 2016 4 Pages
“What the Mirror Said” by Lucille Clifton (page 202) narrates a girl convincing herself of her own worth. The repeated line, “listen,” indicates that she’s pleading with herself. The final line, “mister with his hands on you / he got his hands on some / damn / body!” concludes that this woman feels like she’s special and complex, and not “anonymous.” The only rhythmic quality is that refrain, but there is a unique poetic style to it in the way language is used. The grammar isn’t formal, it’s more conversational, in lines like, “you a wonder, you a city.” A clear image is still achieved in those lines, as well as in, “you got a geography / of your own.” The strong points are the unique, informal way of speaking, and the vivid description the narrator gives of herself.
In “The Gift” by Carole Oles (page 200), Oles criticizes the way women are treated as the property of men. She compares a woman to a gift, implying that women are trained at a young age to be submissive and obedient towards me. She gets the point across with the disturbing line, “they taught it to bury its wishbone / they poured honey down its throat”. The rhythmic quality is the repetition of the word “they” throughout the poem. One very memorable image is the vague use of the word “it” when referring to the woman, clearly implying that she’s less human than the man mentioned. The strength of the poem comes from its dark description of women used to make a point. The tone is fitting for the depressing but…

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